Parents’ evenings are an opportunity for you to voice your concerns and have a one-on-one with your child’s teacher. As they usually come around once a year, it is vital that you ask all the questions you have. We recommend preparing these beforehand. To help you put a list together, here are some suggested by a boarding school in the UK.
1. What Their Targets Are
To understand the level of support your child needs, it’s important to establish their goals (or target grades). If you’re unsure of this, parents’ evening is the perfect time to find out and learn about how they will be assessed.
2. Are They on Track to Hit Them
Also see whether your child is on track to hitting them. If not, it may be that additional support is needed at school, or from you at home to get them up to speed.
3. Where They Should Be for Their Stage of Development
Like the questions above, you can ask their teacher about where they are in relation to their peers and their age.
4. How You Can Support Their Education
Progress comes down to practice, so if your child is stuck with a particular area of their learning, see whether there is anything you can do at home. At the most basic level, parents should try helping children with homework and ensure that what they learn at school is remembered. Outside of that, you can see whether there are particular skills they need help developing, such as their reading and mental maths.
5. If There Are Any Causes for Concern
Now’s the time to learn whether their school has anyconcerns in terms of their progress and behaviour etc. Should there be, have a conversation with your child to get to the root of their problems and put measures in place.
6. How They Get on Socially with Others
Aside from how they are doing academically, consider the social side of school and learn about how they are finding general interaction with their peers and fitting into the school environment.
7. Their Professional Opinion
Should you have any concerns about your child’s development, you can speak to their teacher to see if they’ve noticed anything concerning and ask for their professional opinion. You may also request that they keep a closer eye on them and look out for the issues you’re describing.
8. How to Access the Right Support
To follow on from the point above, if your concerns are legitimate there are many resources and contacts your child’s school can refer you to.
9. Whether Your Child Enjoys School
As children spend approximately 6 hours of their day at school, their enjoyment is equally important. Their teacher can tell you from their observations how they are finding things and whether they’ve noticed any sudden changes in their mood. If so, this is something you can investigate to see whether anything’s going on in their personal life, if something at home is affecting them or if it’s simply their work they don’t like.
10. What Opportunities Will Be Coming Up
There is a plethora of opportunities schools host for children, such as school trips, extracurricular activities and talks from guest speakers. Learning about the schedule can help you and your child make the most of what’s on offer.
These are just a few general areas you can look at. Yours may differ depending on your child’s individual needs. Remember, schools are there just as much for parents as they are for children, and you are not doing it alone. Should you have concerns and need help, there are their teachers and other professionals that are there to provide support.